McLaren still have eyes on P3 in Championship

Date published: August 19 2020

McLaren Racing Point

McLaren principal Andreas Seidl says the team will not give up on their goal of P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.

Lando Norris kicked the team’s season off in perfect fashion with P3 at the Austrian Grand Prix, and since then McLaren have been regular points scorers. Their reward is P4 in the Constructors’ Championship after six rounds.

Their tally of 62 points puts them one ahead of Ferrari, and crucially only one behind Racing Point in P3.

And even though Seidl told Autosport that McLaren know it will be challenging to compete with Racing Point for pure pace in the battle for P3, they “will not give up as long as there’s a chance”.

“I think the fight we are in, in terms of pure car performance, is with Ferrari and Renault,” he continued.

“We have to stay realistic there. If Racing Point actually can use the potential of this car they have, it’s difficult to fight them.

“But with the drivers and the level of execution we have there’s always the chance to still battle them and battle one Red Bull, and that’s what we are aiming for.

“This fight for P3 we will not give up as long as there is a chance.”

Reliability has been a real strong point for McLaren this season who so far boast a 100% record, though their pitstop times need improvement.

What will also encourage the team is the lack of consistency over at Ferrari and Renault.

Charles Leclerc has proven his ability to take full advantage of an opportunity having taken two podiums in 2020, but the overall pace of the car sits around McLaren’s level, whilst Sebastian Vettel is struggling for consistent form in his final season with the team.

Renault were full of confidence after strong showings at Silverstone, yet they left the Spanish Grand Prix with no points as Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo rued the sudden loss of performance.

So, it’s perfectly understandable that Seidl sees McLaren as having the fourth-fastest car on the grid.

“In the race we clearly had the fourth quickest car, not being even far from the Racing Point, which is very encouraging and shows that we made a good step forward with the car,” he said.

“We have also seen last year that we scored many points compared to other teams simply by a very good execution of the races on Sunday afternoon.

“That gives me also a lot of trust that we have a strong race team together with support from home.

“After six races we are in P4, one point ahead of Ferrari, [which] is something very encouraging, great motivation.

“But at the same time there’s no reason to get carried away, knowing we still have a long way to go when you see the Mercedes or Red Bull.”

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Next up is the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. Norris was set to finish P5 here last year before late reliability woes, so Seidl is keen to see what pace his team can show there this year.

“I’m actually looking forward to seeing what we can do in Spa,” he admitted.

“We had a strong race there last year, we know about the weakness of our car especially in low speed, so we’re looking forward to tracks which are not so low speed dependent.”

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